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Tasty Tuesdays: A Taste of New York

20 September 2010 3,231 views 29 Comments

I’m in New York City this week, so Tasty Tuesdays is coming with me. I actually lived in “The City” as many call it, for three years before I moved to Austin. I was up on the food scene back then but I’m now pretty much a run-of-the-mill tourist with no idea what has opened since then. When I visit, I rely on the kindness of strangers and friends.

ILoveNY

Perry of New York Street Food made the following recommendations:

Of the trucks that move around, I love Schnitzel & Things, Frites ‘N’ Meats, Mexicue, Souvlaki GR, and QBA (Cuban) for lunch/dinner.  For dessert, my favorites are the Dessert Truck (duh!), Treats Truck, Kelvin Natural Slush, and Wafels & Dinges.  But since you’re from Texas, I think you should also try the pulled pork on a waffle from Wafels & Dinges for lunch or dinner one day.

Two trucks that usually park every day in the same location are Bistro Truck on 5th Ave & 16th St and Big Gay Ice Cream Truck on Broadway & 17th St. These are both excellent too.

As far as food carts, the best ones are Biryani Cart and Kwik Meal.  They are on 6th Ave at 46th St and 45th St respectively. Jamaican Dutchy on 7th Ave & 51st St is good too.

If you happen to be in Soho around lunchtime, Calexico Carne Asada is one of the best, but their two carts are only out at lunchtime.  They also have a fairly new restaurant at 122 Union St in Brooklyn that’s supposed to be excellent.

Mike of Austin Food Carts (who rolls high and low brow alike) has enjoyed:

Manhattan: 11 Madison, Annisa, Babbo, Blue Hill, Convivio, Degustation, Dovetail, Esca, Jules Bistro, Momofuku, SSam Bar

Brooklyn:  Applewood, Devi, DiFara, Fette Sau, Marlow & Sons, Motorino Pizza, Zenkichi

Dave of Famous Fat Dave fame suggests (based on where I’m staying/working this trip):

Chelsea: Jack shit aside from Hill Country for BBQ that you can probably get way better where you are.

Midtown East: Zarela for real Mexican food from the interior of the country without a burrito in sight.

Brooklyn (when I didn’t give him specifics about where I was staying):

  • Ferdinando’s on Union Street for old school Sicilian. Get the pasta con sarde, nero di sepa, calamari polpo salad, and arancini
  • Totonno’s: Coal oven pizza on Neptune Ave in Coney Island
  • Defonte’s: Get something hot, roast beef with fried eggplant and fresh mozz, corned beef with cole slaw, pastrami with hot pickled salad, ham with potato and eggs, it’s only open until 3:30 p.m. or so.

And when I was more specific….

Near Cobble Hill:
Buttermilk Channel for fried chicken and waffles and bacon appetizer
Zaytoon’s for shawarma pyzta and shawarma and hummus with pita
Teresa’s on Montegue for blueberry blintz and/or pierogies
Henry St Ale House for fried pickles
Mile End for Montreal Style Smoked Meats
Lucali’s for pizza (this link’s to the Tasty Touring post about Lucali’s)

Near Fort Greene:
Castro’s for burrittos slightly toasted
Habana Outpost for grilled corn and chilling outside with margaritas Austin style

Now that I’ve shared Perry, Mike, and Dave’s suggestions, it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite food specialty shops, restaurants, and snack carts in New York City?

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  • Johncraven1

    Good suggestions. Here are some others I like:

    Pizza– most NYC pizza is overrated, but these are some good ones:
    - Lombardi's (Little Italy)
    - DiFaro's (Brooklyn)
    - Little Frankie's (E Village)
    - I've heard Lucali's is good but they never seem to be open, so I gave up

    Asian:
    - Xi'an (Chinatown, E Village, Flushing-Queens) — hands down, the best food deal in NYC. Two people can get full, with drinks, for $12. It's food from Western China, so it's a mix of Chinese and Middle Eastern influences (Get the D1, you won't regret it)
    - Vanessa's Dumplings on the LES are amazing (try the pancake sandwich too)
    - Momofuku Noodle Bar (E Village… pork buns are pricey but so good)

    Mexican — Pretty dicey affair up here, but these are good:
    - Zarela's (Midtown East)
    - Mesa Coyoacan (Williamsburg-Brooklyn)
    - Centrico (Tribeca)
    - Agave (W Village — decent Tex Mex, but very good margaritas)

    Southern/soul food:
    - Sylvia's (or almost anywhere else) in Harlem
    - I've also heard great things about Seersucker in Brooklyn

    For BBQ, Hill Country is the only option. Good enough to stand up to Salt Lick, but not as good as Smitty's in Lockhart. Lone Star will run you 5 bucks a can though!

  • Howard R.

    Here's my list of places to hit. Enjoy your week in the city!

    Brunch:
    Clinton Street Baking Co. (Lower East Side – blueberry pancakes!)

    Coffee:
    Café Grumpy (Chelsea and Brooklyn)
    Kaffe 1668 (Tribecca)
    (Great NYT piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/dining/10coffee.html )

    Pizza:
    Motorino (E. Village – Brussels sprout pizza)

    Higher-end dining:
    Eleven Madison Park (Midtown – fine dining)
    Gramercy Tavern (Midtown – American)
    Minetta Tavern (W. Village – American — bone-in NY strip, roast chicken)
    Marea (Midtown – Italian)
    Convivio (Midtown – Italian)
    Blue Hill (W. Village – American)

    Misc:
    The Little Owl (W. Village – perfect cozy place for dinner or brunch)
    Momofuku Ssam (E. Village – pork buns)
    Momofuku milk bar (E. Village – crack pie, cereal milk soft-serve)
    Spotted Pig (W. Village – gastropub)
    The Breslin (Midtown – gastropub)
    Union Oyster Bar (Midtown — Seafood)
    Katz’s Deli (Lower East Side – pastrami on rye)
    Balthazar (Soho – Bistro with great breakfasts and baked goods)

  • jodibart

    Thanks to my Facebook and Twitter friends for their NYC suggestions as well:

    Sara K.: Please enjoy some Rosario's pizza in the LES for me! And for the best dessert in the world, hit Two Little Red Hens for the cherry cheesecake.

    @dvdherron: @gorillacoffee has a fantastic maple syrup latte worth making a jaunt for.

    @supertsai: egg custard king and pio pio in NYC

    @jenneraustin: Joe's Shanghai for soup dumplings and Ghenet (on mulberry) for ethiopian.

  • jodibart

    Great suggestions. Thank you so much, John! You're living full time in New York City now, right? Hope life is treating you well.

  • jodibart

    Thank you for all of these great suggestions, Howard. The Motorino Brussels sprouts pizza sounds very intriguing for lunch today…Also, may have to drop by Eataly at 5th and 24th per your Twitter suggestion at some point.

  • Johncraven1

    Yup, been in NYC since December. Doing an internship with Nike Communication (luxury goods PR) this fall and taking classes at night. Living in the E Village.

  • jodibart

    Thank you for all of these great suggestions, Howard. The Motorino Brussels sprouts pizza sounds very intriguing for lunch today…Also, may have to drop by Eataly at 5th and 24th per your Twitter suggestion at some point.

  • Howard R.

    Here's my list of places to hit. Enjoy your week in the city!

    Brunch:
    Clinton Street Baking Co. (Lower East Side – blueberry pancakes!)

    Coffee:
    Café Grumpy (Chelsea and Brooklyn)
    Kaffe 1668 (Tribecca)
    (Great NYT piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/dining/10coffee.html )

    Pizza:
    Motorino (E. Village – Brussels sprout pizza)

    Higher-end dining:
    Eleven Madison Park (Midtown – fine dining)
    Gramercy Tavern (Midtown – American)
    Minetta Tavern (W. Village – American — bone-in NY strip, roast chicken)
    Marea (Midtown – Italian)
    Convivio (Midtown – Italian)
    Blue Hill (W. Village – American)

    Misc:
    The Little Owl (W. Village – perfect cozy place for dinner or brunch)
    Momofuku Ssam (E. Village – pork buns)
    Momofuku milk bar (E. Village – crack pie, cereal milk soft-serve)
    Spotted Pig (W. Village – gastropub)
    The Breslin (Midtown – gastropub)
    Union Oyster Bar (Midtown — Seafood)
    Katz’s Deli (Lower East Side – pastrami on rye)
    Balthazar (Soho – Bistro with great breakfasts and baked goods)

  • jodibart

    Thanks to my Facebook and Twitter friends for their NYC suggestions as well:

    Sara K.: Please enjoy some Rosario's pizza in the LES for me! And for the best dessert in the world, hit Two Little Red Hens for the cherry cheesecake.

    @dvdherron: @gorillacoffee has a fantastic maple syrup latte worth making a jaunt for.

    @supertsai: egg custard king and pio pio in NYC

    @jenneraustin: Joe's Shanghai for soup dumplings and Ghenet (on mulberry) for ethiopian.

    @meatandpotatosf: Try The Tipsy Parson in Chelsea. Their pimiento cheese and homeade crackers are to die for.

  • jodibart

    Great suggestions. Thank you so much, John! You're living full time in New York City now, right? Hope life is treating you well.

  • Johncraven1

    Yup, been in NYC since December. Doing an internship with Nike Communication (luxury goods PR) this fall and taking classes at night. Living in the E Village.

  • jodibart

    Thank you for all of these great suggestions, Howard. The Motorino Brussels sprouts pizza sounds very intriguing for lunch today…Also, may have to drop by Eataly at 5th and 24th per your Twitter suggestion at some point.

  • amy

    Just returned from NYC on Monday. Favs are:
    Union Square Cafe (American, Union Square, of course)
    Acqua (Italian, Upper West)
    Buceo 95 (Spanish tapas, Upper West)
    Calle Ocho (Latin American tapas, Upper West)
    Barney Greengrass (deli, Upper West)
    The Odeon (American, Tribeca)
    Blue Hill (fresh local food, Greenwich)
    Pete's Tavern (American, Gramercy)

    Yum. I'm hungry now.

  • jodibart

    Went to Joe's Shanghai yesterday. LOVED the crab/pork soup dumplings!

  • jodibart

    Great suggestions! I've been to Calle Ocho and The Odeon and really enjoyed them both.

  • jodibart

    More suggestions from @shawnleventhal:

    - Kenka (sign is only in Japanese) 25 St. Marks Pl. in Manhattan. It is a crazy izakaya that is super fun. $1.50 frosty mugs of Kirin and Sapporo. They have small plates of things as benign as dumplings and as crazy as bull penis. I am a fan of the whole mackerel pike (though eat it before you have too much beer b/c whole fish w/ chop sticks is work). At the end of your meal they give you a cup of sugar and you spin your own cotton candy!

    - Rocco's on Bleeker in the Village has some amazing homemade Italian ices. Also, Murray's cheese shop is legendary and across the street.

    - Veniero's Pasticceria and Caffe it has been open since 1884 and has AMAZING coffee and pastries.

    -Next ny trip you need to hit up Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao Soup Dumplings in Flushing. Hole in wall better than Joe's.

  • http://twitter.com/McKinzeyC McKinzey Crossland

    Ok, I'm a little late in sharing and have many more that I could recommend, but truly, if I had to pick one NYC place for you to try, it's this: http://www.azuricafe.com/ BEST. FALAFEL. EVER. The guy is Israeli and it's seriously better than I've had in Israel. Get the pita falafel with everything end you can thank me later.

  • amy

    Just returned from NYC on Monday. Favs are:
    Union Square Cafe (American, Union Square, of course)
    Acqua (Italian, Upper West)
    Buceo 95 (Spanish tapas, Upper West)
    Calle Ocho (Latin American tapas, Upper West)
    Barney Greengrass (deli, Upper West)
    The Odeon (American, Tribeca)
    Blue Hill (fresh local food, Greenwich)
    Pete's Tavern (American, Gramercy)

    Yum. I'm hungry now.

  • jodibart

    Went to Joe's Shanghai yesterday. LOVED the crab/pork soup dumplings!

  • jodibart

    Great suggestions! I've been to Calle Ocho and The Odeon and really enjoyed them both.

  • jodibart

    More suggestions from @shawnleventhal:

    - Kenka (sign is only in Japanese) 25 St. Marks Pl. in Manhattan. It is a crazy izakaya that is super fun. $1.50 frosty mugs of Kirin and Sapporo. They have small plates of things as benign as dumplings and as crazy as bull penis. I am a fan of the whole mackerel pike (though eat it before you have too much beer b/c whole fish w/ chop sticks is work). At the end of your meal they give you a cup of sugar and you spin your own cotton candy!

    - Rocco's on Bleeker in the Village has some amazing homemade Italian ices. Also, Murray's cheese shop is legendary and across the street.

    - Veniero's Pasticceria and Caffe it has been open since 1884 and has AMAZING coffee and pastries.

    -Next ny trip you need to hit up Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao Soup Dumplings in Flushing. Hole in wall better than Joe's.

  • http://twitter.com/McKinzeyC McKinzey Crossland

    Ok, I'm a little late in sharing and have many more that I could recommend, but truly, if I had to pick one NYC place for you to try, it's this: http://www.azuricafe.com/ BEST. FALAFEL. EVER. The guy is Israeli and it's seriously better than I've had in Israel. Get the pita falafel with everything end you can thank me later.

  • jodibart

    More SWEET suggestions: Mast Bros. Chocolate (from @adamholz, Levain Bakery (from @wildncrazypearl, and Baked (from Linda Y.)

  • linda

    if you cannot go this trip (you must have on your nyc to do list) for your next visit…i agree mast bros. is fantastic… artisanal dark chocolate with sea salt is my fave & their packaging is just so beautiful …the bros. give a tour of their chocolate factory/making & it is very interesting to hear their story…
    OMG: i am craving sweets!
    sfoglia on east 92nd street /lex has extraordinary food & their pastry chef's dessert of the evening is always some wonderful…they have the best chocolate cookie that oozes a warm chocolate when you bite into it…i am still trying to get the recipe! …we like to sit @ the bar …great bartenders!!!

  • jodibart

    More SWEET suggestions: Mast Bros. Chocolate (from @adamholz, Levain Bakery (from @wildncrazypearl, and Baked (from Linda Y.)

  • linda

    if you cannot go this trip (you must have on your nyc to do list) for your next visit…i agree mast bros. is fantastic… artisanal dark chocolate with sea salt is my fave & their packaging is just so beautiful …the bros. give a tour of their chocolate factory/making & it is very interesting to hear their story…
    OMG: i am craving sweets!
    sfoglia on east 92nd street /lex has extraordinary food & their pastry chef's dessert of the evening is always some wonderful…they have the best chocolate cookie that oozes a warm chocolate when you bite into it…i am still trying to get the recipe! …we like to sit @ the bar …great bartenders!!!

  • linda

    freeman's in freeman's alley…great bar & food
    otto restaurant enoteca pizza…downtown 5th avenue
    eatly- a must
    abc kitchen- not far from eatly
    blt prime
    xo linda

  • jodibart

    More SWEET suggestions: Mast Bros. Chocolate (from @adamholz, Levain Bakery (from @wildncrazypearl, and Baked (from Linda Y.)

  • linda

    if you cannot go this trip (you must have on your nyc to do list) for your next visit…i agree mast bros. is fantastic… artisanal dark chocolate with sea salt is my fave & their packaging is just so beautiful …the bros. give a tour of their chocolate factory/making & it is very interesting to hear their story…
    OMG: i am craving sweets!
    sfoglia on east 92nd street /lex has extraordinary food & their pastry chef's dessert of the evening is always some wonderful…they have the best chocolate cookie that oozes a warm chocolate when you bite into it…i am still trying to get the recipe! …we like to sit @ the bar …great bartenders!!!